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Calcium utilization by quail embryos during activities preceding space flight and during embryogenesis in microgravity aboard the orbital space station MIR



Calcium utilization by quail embryos during activities preceding space flight and during embryogenesis in microgravity aboard the orbital space station MIR



Journal of Gravitational Physiology 6(2): 33-41



A series of studies were conducted to determine the effect of activities preceding spaceflight and during space-flight on calcium utilization during quail embryonic development. In the pre-space trials, fertile quail eggs were subjected to pre-flight dynamics including forces of centrifugation, vibration, or a combination of vibration and centrifugation prior to incubation for 6 or 16 days. Quail eggs were also tested for survivability in a refrigerator stowage kit for eggs (RSKE) which was subsequently used to transport the eggs to space. Eggs in the RSKE were subjected to shuttle launch dynamics including G force and random vibration profiles. The space-flight trial involved 48 quail eggs launched on space shuttle Flight STS-76 which were subsequently incubated in a Slovakian incubator onboard space station, MIR. Two ground control trials, each with 48 eggs with and without exposure to shuttle launch dynamics were initiated 5 days post-launch. Eggshells from all study trials were retrieved and analyzed for calcium content. Results showed that neither pre-flight activities nor shuttle launch dynamics had an effect on calcium utilization by developing embryos. However, calcium utilization by developing embryos incubated in microgravity was impaired by 12.6% when compared to embryos incubated on earth under laboratory control environment. This impairment was believed to be due to unidentified factors of the microgravity environment.

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Accession: 045424469

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PMID: 11543084


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